To become an electrician, you must have a high school diploma or GED and completion of an electrician apprenticeship program verifying mastery of specific skills and hours of training. Typically, apprenticeship programs last 4 years and include classes in blueprint reading, mathematics, and code requirements. Apprenticeship programs are often sponsored by unions and contractor associations. It is not required, but often helpful to have a completion certificate from an electrician education program issued by an accredited institution. Courses offered by accredited institutions may fill some of the apprenticeship requirements. The certificate of completion will not replace the apprenticeship program completion. Before a candidate is accepted into an apprenticeship program, the candidate will be required to show that he/she is over the age of 18, has a high school diploma or GED and has completed and passed one year of algebra. The candidate will also have to verify a drug free status and pass an aptitude test. Most states require a license.
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Electrician Career Responsibilities
Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical systems in residences, businesses, factories and public facilities. The work is full time and frequently involves overtime and weekends. Working conditions for electricians can be physically demanding. Electricians are called upon to climb poles, crawl under buildings and lift heavy coils of wire, often in inclement or hot weather. There is less risk as in some other professions, but electrical work can involve burns, electrical shock and falls. Risk is reduced by following proper procedures. It is also necessary to have the visual ability to distinguish the different colored wires in electrical systems. Electricians must be in good physical condition.
Starting pay for apprentices is between $24,000 and $28,000 per year and increases as electrician candidates complete more of the apprenticeship program. The median annual pay for electricians is $48,250, or $23.20 per hour. Electricians working in construction or jobs in the transition to alternative forms of energy may experience periods of unemployment due to the economy or government policy. Electricians who work inside factories or in electrical maintenance in facilities have more job stability.
Between 2010 and 2020 over 133,000 electrician jobs will be added to the US payroll in addition to the current roster of almost 600,000 electricians nationwide. There are a wide variety of types of jobs using Electrician Training.
Characteristics for the most successful electricians include: Good color vision because electrical wires are distinguished by color, critical thinking skills and trouble shooting skills to diagnose problems and determine how to solve problems. Additional abilities including customer service skills and managerial skills can also help electricians become more successful.
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